Loch Garry

The Glengarry News - - The Opin­ion Page - Se­away Val­ley Direc­tory As Others See Us: Scots of the The Glen­garry Times, A His­tory of Glen­garry The Province of On­tario Gazetteer and

Don­ald Grant’s Cob­bling Shop was lo­cated on the nar­row curv­ing road at Loch Garry Road, as de­scribed in

by Robert J. Fraser. The vil­lage hub also in­cluded an ash­ery, a type of fac­tory that con­verts hard­wood ashes into lye used to make soap, potash, or pearlash, which can be used for bak­ing.

The Loch Garry store was built as an ad­di­tion to a log cabin, with a Cana­dian-made iron box stove. The post of­fice was es­tab­lished in­side the store.

Pop­u­lar treats were Dundee crack­ers. Some of the items for sale also in­cluded horse­shoes, at two shillings and six­pence, un­der the Cana­dian Pound cur­rency sys­tem that lasted un­til 1858. The store­keeper of­ten vis­ited neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties such as Mart­in­town or Lan­caster to ob­tain sup­plies.

Cake or a pipe went for a penny, soap cost only six­pence, and shoe hemp sold for five pence.

The first pa­per in the county, was launched in the early 1800s. Dur­ing this time, tea sold for 40 cents, now in the new cur­rency, and flour for $2.90 to $3.15 per 100 pounds.

Loch Garry Vil­lage boasted one of the first of five Catholic churches in North Glen­garry, lo­cated on lot 26 of the Third of Kenyon, ac­cord­ing to Mr. Flock­ton, who al­luded to the book by Royce MacGil­livray and Ewan Ross. The church’s pas­tor was Rev J. S. O’Con­nor.

Loch Garry Vil­lage also had a school with teacher Don­ald McPher­son pro­vid­ing in­struc­tion to the stu­dents.

The vil­lage in­cluded an inn op­er­ated by John McDon­ald as well as shoe­mak­ing ser­vices by Don­ald Grant and Alexan­der McDonell.

Lo­cated eight miles from Alexan­dria, the vil­lage had a pop­u­la­tion of about 100 peo­ple, based on

pub­li­ca­tion by Henry McEvoy. Loch Garry Vil­lage was lo­cated at the in­ter­sec­tion that leads to Master­son Beach. Later in the 1940s Loch Garry and Master­son Beach be­came known as a cot­tage com­mu­nity, an oa­sis for Glen­garry area res­i­dents.

After Con­fed­er­a­tion, Glen­garry be­gan to ex­pe­ri­ence a growth in pop­u­la­tion and an “ur­ban­iza­tion.”

How­ever, in North Glen­garry, Alexan­dria had the great­est growth in num­bers while the neigh­bour­ing vil­lages were not able to ex­pand, lack­ing the “pro­duc­tiv­ity that sup­port the ser­vices the towns pro­vide.”

“That’s an over­all blan­ket state­ment about why a lot of these vil­lages and town­ships failed to re­ally go much any­where,” says Mr. Flock­ton. “I’ve heard many times be­fore that Ap­ple Hill was the rea­son for the demise of Loch Garry Vil­lage.”

Robert J. Fraser writes that Loch Garry Vil­lage’s store and vil­lage homes had been “rich in leg­end and his­tory,” adding that the store was a gath­er­ing place for story-tell­ers. When the store closed around 1885, pro­pri­etor James Fraser be­gan pro­mot­ing the lo­cal cheese fac­tory.

Mr. Fraser served as an el­der of the Alexan­dria Pres­by­te­rian Church as well as the Burns Church in Mart­in­town, based on Glen­garry His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety past-pres­i­dent David An­der­son’s re­search. His son, also named James Fraser, was au­di­tor gen­eral of Canada from 1908 to 1920.

RICHARD MA­HONEY PHO­TOS

AN­OTHER VO­CA­TION: One of the re­gion’s most prom­i­nent places of wor­ship, St. Fin­nan’s Cathe­dral in Alexan­dria has an­other vo­ca­tion -- its steeple serves as a sup­port for com­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment. Work crews were get­ting a lot of at­ten­tion last week as they em­ployed a crane to in­stall a new cel­lu­lar phone an­tenna on the bell tower.

AN­GELA BROWN PHOTO

MARKER:A plaque com­mem­o­rates Loch Garry Vil­lage.

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